first_imgThe great Brian Friel is laid to rest in Glenties. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Literary great Brian Friel was buried today on a hillside outside the Co Donegal town where many of his works were set.The people of Glenties lined the streets to say a final farewell to the playwright who put their town on the world stage with such productions as ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ and “Translations.’The late Brian Friel.Stunning October sunshine lit up the hills, fields, and rivers of Donegal as Mr Friel was taken from his home at Greencastle on the Inishowen Peninsula for the hour and a half long journey to his resting place in Glenties. Friends and relatives took Mr Friel, 86, from the home he shared with his wife Ann on the shores of Lough Foyle.His remains inside a wicker coffin were carried up the steep, tree-lined avenue from his house and out onto the main road before being put inside the hearse.Along the way people in towns and villages including Muff, Bridgend, Manorcunningham and Letterkenny, stood and clapped as the funeral cortege with Garda escort snaked its way across Donegal.While he was born in Co Tyrone and raised in Derry, Friel’s mother, Mary McLoone was a native of Glenties where she worked at one time in the town’s Post Office. Mourners were met with a blue and what rowing boat with a sign for Ballybeg, the fictional town in which Friel set many of his works and which many accept is Glenties.Actors Sean McGinley and Stephen Rea at he funeral of Mr Friel. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Many locals walked the mile long journey to the graveyard to say one final farewell to a man who loved to spend his childhood summers in the town.At the graveyard, faces from the world of theatre, film and politics awaited the arrival of the funeral cortege.Mourners included actors Stephen Rea, Sean McGinley, former RTE chairman Joe Mulholland, Kathleen Watkins, politicians including John Hume and Northern Ireland Deputy FirstMinister Martin McGuinness.It is understood that President Michael D Higgins had paid a private visit to the home of Mr Friel on Saturday. Mr Friel’s remains are carried put to his final resting place at Glenties graveyard. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Local parish priest Fr Pat Prendergast led the 300 mourners in prayer as Mr Friel was laid to rest.He said the people of Glenties were “privileged” that Mr Friel had chosen to be buried in the soil of the area and amongst its people.After the religious aspect of the ceremony was completed, friends of Mr Friel paid their own unique tribute to him.Poet and close friend Tom Paulin called many visits to Mr Friel’s Donegal home and how he loved a gin and tonic “before and after dinner.” He called his firm handshake and hugs and how he loved his wife, children and grandchildren so much.He also recited from Seamus Heeney’s ‘Sunlight’ in memory of the playwright.There was a steely silence on the sun-soaked hill apart from a light breeze which whispered through the line of fir trees which bordered one side of the graveyard.Another friend, playwright Thomas Kilroy also paid tribute to the late Mr Friel.Singer Ruby Philogene-Doran sang one of Mr Friel’s favourite songs ‘Often The Stilly Night’ as well as ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Purcell’s Opera.And then it was time to say the ultimate farewell.The Friel family, including Brian’s beloved wife Anne as well as his children including daughters Mary (Bateman), Judy (Maher), Sally (Sultan) and son David (he was predeceased by daughter Patricia (Paddy) gathered around his burial plot in a circle.And together they dropped red roses onto the coffin of a man who brought so much personal joy to them and literary joy to Ireland and the world.Many stood on the hillside graveyard, a mile outside the fictional town of Ballybeg, reminiscing about encounters with the legendary playwright.An open invitation was then extended by the Friel family to all to join them in the Highlands Hotel for soup and sandwiches and to once again celebrate the life of a very unique talent.LITERARY GREAT BRIAN FRIEL IS LAID TO REST ‘AMONGST HIS OWN’ IN GLENTIES was last modified: October 5th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian Frielfunerallast_img

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